I wish there was a sticky about this, it just seems to come up over and over.
A) You DO NOT need a skimmer for a saltwater tank. As the tank size gets larger they are recommended but many many run tanks without a skimmer
B) You DO NOT need a sump for a saltwater tank.
C) You DO NOT need 1.5-2 pounds of live rock for a saltwater tank. You need somewhere for biological activity. Live Rock provides that surface, so do HOB
filters, canisters, etc. You can have a hunk of "LR
" in your tank just for looks and add additional filtration some where else. If the number of fish is relatively small you can use LR
as your filtration at much smaller amounts.
D) Don't put any fish in the tank until you finish the cycle. You need an ammonia test though I'm not sure you have to sprint out of the house to get one. Sooner the better though.
more people new to this hobby fail because they are convinced that they need to spend tons of money on setting a tank up and then when the maintenance and stocking comes around that expense crushes them. There are very few black/whites in this hobby. Especially when it comes to equipment.
Take your time, plan ahead and if expense is a limiting factor look for alternatives.